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Tue Feb 21, 2012, 01:11 PM

The cult of the hyperpolyglot

Many people want to speak a second language, but for some people two can never be enough. Welcome to the world of the hyperpolyglot.

Ray Gillon speaks 18 languages. To be precise, he only speaks eight fluently. His grasp on the other 10 is merely conversational.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17101370

Something I always dreamed of as a kid. I had a roommate once who spoke 9 languages with equal fluency, but none to "native" perfection. He had no real mother tongue, as his first 3 languages were simultaneous, English, Swedish and Spanish. It wasn't that he had an accent in any of them, but there was something in the cadence, or tone of his delivery that always hinted at something non-native.

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Reply The cult of the hyperpolyglot (Original post)
Starboard Tack Feb 2012 OP
echochamberlain Jul 2014 #1
timdiaz Jul 2016 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2016 #3

Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Fri Jul 18, 2014, 05:56 AM

1. Structuralism

A lovely piece about the foibles of language: http://sheppardpost.com/structuralism-weird-for-the-sake/

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Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Wed Jul 6, 2016, 03:13 AM

2. My experience

My mother tongue is English. I have a good command of Russian.
Also I can speak French and Spanish. But I need to nurture my skills.
In near future I want to learn German.
For me the best education way is communication with native speakers. There are many websites in the net when you can find a talker, like italki or busuu.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Wed Aug 24, 2016, 10:27 PM

3. My first language is American English.

My second is French, and I'm not too terrible in it.

I can also muddle by in Spanish and can painfully express a few basic things in German. Same with Italian.

One of my few real regrets in life is that I have not had or made the opportunity to live in another country and really get to know another language. Or that I could persuade either of my sons to do a foreign exchange thing when they were in high school.

I console myself that at least I know a bit of several other languages. So many Americans only know English.

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